Knowledge management: top 10 tips

Want
to make sure your knowledge management system will work? Caroline Horn
canvasses the experts for some pointers

1.
The basics

It
is crucial that any knowledge management system has support from the top and
reflects the company culture. But there are a number of other issues that need
to be addressed if your system is going to work.

2.
Focus on business aims

"Understand
the business benefits and business objectives. Knowledge management is more
than just delivering information to the end-user. It is the opportunity to put
the whole learning and communication system into the context of the business
needs of the organisation."
Helen Watts, training technology manager, The Unicorn Training Partnership

3.
Start small

"Start
small and start intensively in one area of the business. Find out the things
that could help people share information, and come up with a business proposal
that will help the staff and that part of the business."
Linda Holbeche, director of research, Roffey Park

4.
Sell the benefits

"Make
sure that staff understand the worth and value the company holds them in to
ensure they have the motivation to maximise their individual potential from the
system."
Helen Watts, The Unicorn Training Partnership

5.
Practice what you preach

"HR
are among the worst offenders. They are busy, as everyone else, and they do not
practice what they preach – when really they need to be a role model."
Linda Holbeche, Roffey Park

6.
Learning and development

"Double
your current investment in learning and make sure real learning is happening at
all levels in your organisation. If you are not serious about learning then you
are not serious about knowledge."
Steve Lakin, manager, Intellectual Capital, BT Group HR

7.
Accessibility

"Put
the information together in a way that makes it accessible – you could use an
IT approach or a different format."
David Welham, director of training technology, KnowledgePool

8.
Updateable, self-managing

"Knowledge
management has to be easily updateable – you are adding to your pool of
information all the time so it needs to be updated regularly. And it needs to
some extent to be self-managing, where shared experiences are stored in the
knowledge database and can be used again."
David Welham, KnowledgePool

9.
IT and HR move closer

"The
Web gives an attractive front end and search facilities but tools must be
simple and intuitive or people won’t use them. We must shift our thinking and
strive to foster a closer relationship between IT and HR to entice staff to
become knowledge-sharers not knowledge-hoarders."
Steve Blythe, CEO & founder, Appsolut Software

10.
Evaluate

"Set
objectives for improving the management of your organisation’s knowledge
assets. Put some hard-nosed measures and targets in places that will convince
any doubters of the impact and importance of managing knowledge
effectively."
Steve Lakin, BT Group HR

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